In the case of the other major lawsuit against concert promoter Live Nation, Pitchfork reports that the $20 million lawsuit planned by Drakeo The Ruler’s family in response to his death during the Once Upon A Time In LA festival in December has not only been filed but raised to $60 million on behalf of his young son, Caiden Caldwell, by his mother, Tianna Purtue.
The lawsuit, which also names promoter partners Bobby Dee Presents and C3 Presents, as well as Banc of California Stadium owners Los Angeles Football Club, cites the disaster at Astroworld just a week before and accuses the promoters of negligence. The lawsuit says that they did not place “the safety and wellbeing of its guests and its invited artists ahead of profits,” leading to the lax security conditions that allowed Drakeo’s assailant to fatally stab him in the neck during a backstage brawl.
The suit expresses the family’s belief that the promoters were “completely knowledgeable of the potential dangers posed to both their guests and the performers they hired based on numerous past incidents of violence and death at their hip hop events.” This included not only diminishing Drakeo’s own physical security but allowing access to the backstage area by multiple people who seemed affiliated with LA’s numerous street gangs. What started as a skirmish between two small groups apparently escalated into a larger conflict as more members got involved on the basis of affiliation, with many of the attackers “dressed in all red and wearing ski masks.”
Meanwhile, the lawsuit defends Drakeo from assumptions that he himself was gang-affiliated, although it notes that members of a Bloods set wanted revenge on Drakeo for allegedly killing one of their own in a dispute — an incident for which he served nearly two years in county jail merely awaiting re-trial on new charges even after being acquitted.
Among the failures of security listed in the suit is a lack of police presence, the omission of searches for artists and their entourages, and allowing unauthorized individuals to access the backstage areas. In all, Caiden, via Purtue, is seeking $25 million for Drakeo’s death, $25 million for loss of earnings and financial support, and $10 million for Drakeo the Ruler’s suffering prior to his death.